Although business experts say a business plan is required for starting a new business, it’s not always true. For every business that fails due to poor planning, another fails because of over planning.
The secret of a successful courier service business is providing services not available from the bigger firms. What delivery services should you offer? Your business plan wont tell you that, but your customers can.
Ben, a 35 year old courier driver, noticed a need for another courier service in the city he lived in. One that could pick up and deliver the same day, but also with service to other near by communities, that do not yet have this kind of service.
He had experience in all areas of the business, including dispatching, which was extremely important. He had even over the years gained knowledge of weights and billing, another important aspect of running a courier service.
Over the next several months Ben thought a lot about starting up on his own. This would take a lot of planning as he first needed to secure the financing, then a building with an office and room to house several trucks.
He would also need drivers and an office worker and even log books and weigh bills.
After discussing this with his wife Alison, they agreed to go ahead and open their own courier business.
Ben secured a loan, a building with an office and side area for vehicles, purchased a few trucks and hired 5 drivers.
After the first year full of numerous problems and an unimaginable amount of hours worked by both Ben and his wife, the business was beginning to show a profit, and they decided now may be a good time to expand.
Over the next several years they continued to expand, moving to a much larger building, with enough space to house their growing fleet of trucks and flat beds. The building was even big enough that they could have their own shop and mechanic to repair the vehicles.
All of this of course was not without sacrifice – they both worked 6 days a week, and were unable to take holidays. The business also expanded to areas even further away covering places no other courier was accessing.
Regardless how much planning you do, its only a hunch or educated guess about how well your business will do. The secret is to test your ideas as quickly and cheaply as possible, then improve and refine them.
Ben recognized the demand for reliable, cost effective delivery services had been growing in the area for several years. In addition to a growing population, the customers needed faster service especially for time sensitive materials, and believed there was ample room for another reliable courier service.
Ben’s marketing strategy was to provide dependable and exceptional delivery to businesses and professional who have a regular need for pick up and delivery. Second was to gain customers who need couriers service occasionally, such as last minute parts and supplies.
His timing was impeccable and he and his wife now own a thriving courier business.